It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kitty Antics

Pepper's favorite time of the week (that doesn't involve food) is laundry day. When I open the dryer to check if the laundry is finished, she comes running and then follows me down the hallway as I get the laundry basket, follows me back to the dryer, then hops in the basket as I fill it with warm laundry. Then she rides along in the basket when I carry it to my designated laundry folding station, and luxuriates in the warm laundry as each piece is plucked away. I usually just fold everything that I don't want to get wrinkled, and leave the rest for later, so she ends up snoozing on a bed of dive and gym wear. Here's a picture of her in the full basket, hoping I'll be too lazy to actually fold the laundry in a timely manner.
Meanwhile Oreo could be found lounging on the couch in the living room, perfectly centered atop a folded fleece blanket. As soon as I came into the room to snap a picture, she popped up and came over, purring loudly, waiting for pets. Here she is giving me her best "put down that iPhone and give me some pets" look.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Foggy Banks

Sunday was the last BAUE Big Sur charter for the season. I must say that I was a little relieved that I would be finished with 6 AM boat departures for the year :) Luckily we were able to load our gear on the boat the night before, so we didn't really need to be awake in any sense in the morning when we boarded the boat. We headed down the coast, and were greeted by fog. I'm not really sure where the fog got bad, because I was sleeping on and off on the way down. At some point, I awoke to fog. We headed to Midway Pinnacle, where the first dive was planned, and it was foggy. After unsuccessfully trying to wait out the fog, we headed to Las Piedras Wall, and the first group (not me) did a dive there. After their dive, we decided to head out to the bank (the second dive was planned for Sur19) to see what the weather looked like there. It was still foggy out there, with variable fog on the way. So we quickly determined it was not diveable and headed back to Las Piedras.

When we got back there, it wasn't quite as nice as it was when we left, but it was still not foggy right around the site. It was pretty overcast though, whereas it had been pretty sunny when we left. The conditions there were not that great. It was pretty stirred up on the bottom, and the water was very green. The dive was so underwhelming that Rob did not even take his camera out to take any pictures :( We circled the whole pinnacle, starting at the south end and going counter-clockwise. So we played under the overhang twice, at the beginning and end of the dive. The only notable sitings were rockfish. There were some impressively big fish, especially vermilions. But even the blue and olive rockfish were pretty big. There were also a bunch of little schools of juveniles, including quite a few tiny rosies. At the end of the dive, we worked our way up to the shallower areas near the south end, and met up with the other team to start our drift. The reef comes up to 60-some feet, so we did our gas switch and then shot our bags and started the drift.

By the time we got to the surface, conditions had deteriorated and it was foggier. The other dive shift had a second dive planned, so they decided to head north until the fog cleared. They hoped that they could get a dive in around Yankee Point or Carmel. Ha! The fog was crazy thick all the way north until we turned the point into Monterey bay. Then it completely cleared up and it was a nice sunny day in the bay. It was an amazing contrast. So a few divers from the other shift did a dive at Mile Buoy. That was a long boat ride to dive Mile Buoy :) Apparently Clinton was equally underwhelmed with the dives and didn't publish any of his pictures. I haven't seen any video from Beto or Kevin either. I guess the trip will be forgotten in the annals of dive history.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Friday we took the day off to go diving on Phil's boat with the rest of Team Kitty, to (belatedly) celebrate my birthday. My birthday was actually on Thursday, but since Rob was out of town (super lame), most of the festivities were postponed (although I did get a sympathy dinner from Matt and Ted on my actual birthday). Since it was my birthday dive, I was in charge of all aspects of planning. No bullying me into a 15/55 dive! So I planned a multi-level 18/45 dive, with segments at 190', 160' and 130'. Plan A was to go check out the deeper areas around Dos Gatos (south of Mount Chamberlain). We have been to at least 5 of the 10+ structures in this area, but none deeper than about 170. But heading roughly south-southwest from the structures we have been to (with the "two kitties" at the north-northeast), the pinnacles just get deeper, finally ending in a pinnacle going from about 160 feet to 210 feet. Armed with a scooter and 18/45, this is the perfect site to hop across the pinnacles and do a multi-level dive, with at least a couple of pinnacles topping around 160, a few topping around 130, and a few topping around 100. So this was plan A. Plan B (which was actually my original plan, but after a kick-ass dive at MC, I rethought that and decided to switch) was to go to the deeper area of Outer Outer Pinnacles and then do a scooter run towards the shallower area. Conveniently, this dive allowed for the same 190/160/130 dive plan. There is a big pinnacle south-southwest of Canyonlands that I have had my eye on for a while, which goes from about 120' to 190'. So that would be our target anchorage. The nice thing about this sort of multi-level dive is that we could check out the deeper critters butend up with a nearly 1:1 deco ratio.

I glanced at the swell forecast a couple of times during the week, but didn't pay much attention to it. As we drove past Monastery, the conditions looked sort of average to me. But apparently we hit it on a small set. When we pulled into Lobos, Phil and Kevin were standing around by Kevin's truck. Rob hopped out of the car and started loading gear into the boat, and Kevin asked "so does this mean we're going?" "Why wouldn't we go?" ... then Kevin told us that it was pretty big. We were not deterred, and said we'd go see what we could do. And I quickly chose Deep E3 to E3 as "plan C". Once we got the boat in the water and were in the cove, I saw some really big waves rolling into Granite Point. I guess that's what Kevin was talking about. We headed out of the cove, with the original plan to be to try to peak around the point and see if we could make a run for Yankee Point. For whatever reason, we never really veered left and just started to head toward OOP. Rob drove the whole way, which says something about the conditions -- not really that bad. The swell was big but the wind was small. So not choppy at all, just big gentle rollers. Definitely a big ocean, small me(/boat) day, but not at all barf-inducing. We go to the vicinity of OOP and found our pinnacle forthwith. Looking down the anchor line we could see we would in for some good viz. And not too too many sea nettles (but enough to make a nice scene looking down the anchor line).

We got geared up and flopped into the water, to find at most moderate current. I do remember having to kick a little to get myself back to the boat, but nothing crazy. Since I was in charge of all aspects of the dive, that also meant that I got to lead. We headed down the line, and unfortunately the viz got a little worse as we got down. It was just a bit stirred up as we got deeper. Viz was still quite good, and it was a nice bright blue, but it just wasn't quite as clean as the water in the top 80 feet or so. We hit the pinnacle top right around 120', as expected. From there we headed down the northeast side. Part of the reason I am attracted to OOP is the vase sponges we have seen there in the past. It was the first site where we ever saw them, and we pretty consistently would happen upon them on our dives, but always at the very deep end of T1 dive limits. That's part of why I wouldn't to check out the deeper areas, in hopes that they would be more prevalent. We found a couple of them almost immediately, but they were pretty small. As I scootered past them, I circled each one with my light. This quickly became tedious, as they were all over the place. It was awesome. Near the eastern tip of the pinnacle, there are some rubbly pinnaclets, making for some nice channels to scooter through. We came around the eastern tip and soon found a little ridge running south of the pinnacle, across another sand channel. It was on this ridge that we found our first decent-sized (and photo-worthy) vase sponges. There was also a little school of blue rockfish. Rob took some vase sponge pictures, which I inserted myself into :P We eventually continued on around the pinnacle, and came around the west side, where there was a wider channel with a bigger "little pinnacle" across it.

Just as we hit the northwest corner of the pinnacle, I signalled that we would now head off into the abyss to find shallower structures. We skipped across the tops of a few ridges until I found a cool narrow channel running off to the ridge, which I veered into. At the end, there were vase sponges. First I saw this crazy looking one with 5 or 6 tubes pointing in all directions -- like a medusa sponge :) Then I started to notice that there were vase sponges all around us. At the end of the channel, each side opened up into what was almost like a little room, with walls all around us, chock full of vase sponges. It was definitely the coolest spot on the dive. The problem with OOP is that the terrain is all so indistinct that I can imagine doing dozens more dives there and never finding this precise spot again. While I poked around all of the vase sponges, Kevin posed in the channel for some shots behind one of the sponges. Unfortunately it was really time to head shallower, so after a few last shots, we were off again, in search of a 130' spot. We eventually came to some ridge tops in that depth range, which were adorned with elephant sponges. We played around there briefly and then decided to try for some even shallower stuff. We eventually found a pinnacle coming up to 110' or so, and finished up the dive there.

When it was time to start our ascent, I handed over the captainship to Kevin, and he decided to try to scooter for shallower pinnacles for our deep stops. After about a minute and a half, we hadn't found anything, and I was just thinking that we were getting further from the boat without a bag (in fairly big swell), so I suggested we give up and put up the bag there. So we drifted from there. It seemed like forever until we heard the boat, but in fact I heard it at about the 60' spot. I heard it briefly, told Rob that I could hear it, and then he questioned me, and I could no longer hear it. I was almost convinced that I had imagined it, but I really didn't think so. As it turns out, Phil motored over to the bag and just drifted with us from there, never moving the boat again. The sea nettles were not too thick on the deco, which was nice. There was also the usual variety of unnamed jellies keeping us entertained. When we finally got to the surface, Phil was right there. I was sort of astonished to report that I wasn't very cold, didn't have to pee, and wasn't starving. It was very unusual :) Despite that fact that I generally felt pretty good, I still made a completely pathetic and embarrassing attempt to get back into the boat. Well, we can't have everything. Phil let Rob drive the boat all the way back to Lobos, and he got a little lesson in winter boat driving (lesson 1: how not to bottom out on the big waves).

We met at 9 instead of the usual 8 (since it was my birthday dive after all) so we didn't manage to make it to Siamese Bay in time for lunch :( So we headed over to Wild Plum as plan B. I have only been there once before and I got a sandwich that I really liked. I got the same sandwich, which was a bit sub-par. Maybe I was just remembering it to be better than it actually was :) After lunch, we headed over to Cynthia's for some champagne and cake (white chocolate and raspberry, mmm). As is typical (and as Kevin predicted when we were making plans for the afternoon), Rob and Kevin both fell asleep, and I took a shower. Cynthia and I stopped by Bamboo Reef, and by the time we got back the boys had completed their naps. Rob, Kevin and I headed over to Taste of Monterey to kill some time before dinner, and then Rob and I headed to Chart House for dinner. Everything was very tasty, especially the key lime pie (one of the kitty's favorite desserts).

All of the day's pictures are here.

The closing ceremonies of my birthday celebration took place on Saturday, with the usual dive crew, at Krungthai in San Jose. Thanks to Matt, Ted, Kevin, Rob, Phil, Cynthia, Don, Elissa, and Leah for a great birthday weekend!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sur 20

Saturday was the second Big Sur Banks trip of the year. After a bit of back and forth about where to go, we ended up going to Sur 20. We went there last year, but due to a slipped anchor and insane current, we ended up spending about 12 minutes of a single dive on the site, rather than the planned two 25 minutes dives. Like last trip, the dive teams were organized into two shifts, with one shift doing two shorter dives, and one shift doing one long dive. We were on the one long dive shift, so we were slated to get into the water second. That's nice, because it means I don't have to be bothered by pesky details like getting dressed, etc. on the way down.

The surface conditions were not as good as the last trip, in a variety of ways. First, the swell forecast didn't look so great as the weekend approached. And I think it was supposed to be building throughout the day. All in all, not the forecast you want for a trip to Big Sur. It was also foggy on the way down. When we first got down there (I slept for half of the boat ride, woohoo), it was really foggy. Too foggy for the planned drift deco. So the teams on the first shift decided to try to wait it out and if it hadn't improved in a half hour, we would head closer to shore in search of a less foggy patch. Before the half hour had passed, the fogged had cleared substantially, so they got into the water. They were dropped upcurrent of the down line, and drifted to the float. The current did not appear to be too substantial. When their bag appeared, again the current didn't look too substantial. For a while they were probably within 150 feet of the float and then at some point the drift did seem to pick up a bit and they got a bit further away.

When they got back from the dive, they reported a thick layer of bad viz down to about 80 feet, and very dark, somewhat murky water on the bottom. Viz did open up, they said, to 30 or 40 feet, but it was very dark. They also said it was surgy, which I sort of discounted as whining. How surgy could it really be at 150 feet? :) We got geared up and into the water without too much drama, and headed down the water. The viz was not good in the shallows, but not quite as bad as I was imagining based on Clinton's description. Somewhere around 100 feet, we lost the line. I really don't know how that happened. Kevin and I were on opposite sides of it and I was watching it intently because of the murky darkness. Kevin went to shift positions, and I was briefly blinded by his light and when I could see again, the line was gone. I guess the rest of the team assumed I still had the line, so by the time I made it clear that I didn't, it was gone. It seemed like we had hit some current (which was why, I guess, Kevin was moving in the first place), so we headed to the bottom as quickly as our ears would allow, planning to search from there. We dropped onto sand, and I felt like there was a big current right after dropping -- I had to stay on the trigger to maintain position. Then it switched directions. Hmm, not current. Huge surge. I guess the other team wasn't just being dramatic when they complained of surge :)

We quickly found a structure and then found Beto and Karl, so we knew it was actually the structure we were looking for. The surge was really quite amazing. There was a long period swell, and I guess only the really big sets would cause surge at that depth, so basically every couple minutes we would have a period of huge surge, like pick you up and drop you 20 feet from where you started. But the lulls inbetween were reasonably calm. Surge is annoying, but surge when I am near big heads of pristine hydrocoral is actually pretty stressful to me. I was just trying to stay far enough away to avoid any contact. We first did a circle around the base of the pinnacle. I saw a couple of vase sponges near the bottom. There were not a lot of fish. Often times fish will congregate at the bottom of a pinnacle like this, but not today. There was a reasonably-sized school of blue rockfish hanging out on one peak of the pinnacle, but you had to be pretty close to them to notice them, since it was dark. The viz was probably 30 to 40 feet, but very dark. Definitely a completely different scene than the last Big Sur trip, where we had tropical-like viz and brightness. After circling around we came back to the big crack in the middle of the pinnacle. We hung out there for a little while, during a period of calm. Being in the crack when the surge came through was... exciting :)

We eventually made our way to the top of the pinnacle where the nice big piece of hydrocoral live. The surge made posing for pictures basically useless. Before the dive, Rob had asked me to get closer than usual to the hydrocoral for some different shots, but I decided today was not the day for that. Instead, I just hung out in the general area and if Rob wanted to set up a shot involving me, that was up to him :) Rob was pretty displeased with the conditions from a photo standpoint, but I think his hydrocoral pictures turned out really well. No, they aren't on a bright blue background, but those are the conditions we were dealt. I think that the hydrocoral at this site is not as nice as Sur19. They both have really big impressive heads of hydrocoral, but at Sur 19 the top is mostly big pretty hydrocoral, whereas here it seemed to be interspersed with the small less impressive magenta hydrocoral (what I like to call "ugly hydrocoral"). It doesn't seem as much like fields of giant hydrocoral.

Beto told us about a swimthrough near the base of the pinnacle, which we somehow managed to miss on the first run around it. But after spending some time at the top, we headed back down the side of the pinnacle and around it again. This time we found the swimthrough, which was fun to scooter through. There is a big wide vase sponge growing in the swimthrough, which was the nicest vase sponge I saw on this dive. I was expecting the swimthrough to be an arch or something, but actually it isn't completely closed at the top -- there are two walls that just come close enough together that you can't get between them higher up. When I came out of it I considered posing at the mouth for a picture, but I didn't want to linger there for too long, to avoid getting bashed around if the surge returned. As the end of our bottom time neared, we headed to the north peak of the pinnacle, where we had agreed to meet up with the other team to start our drift. The other team shot their bag a couple minutes early so we decided to follow suit. I guess they had had enough :)

The drift was pretty uneventful we briefly got entangled with the downline but then managed to essentially drift out of it without much intervention. We came across the other team again around 70' but after a couple more stops we lost them again (they were probably there all along, but the viz deteriorated as we got shallower). There were lots of interesting jelly animals in the water, including, of course, a really cool one at 75' while we were at our 70' stop, that Rob so wanted to take a picture of :) The site was not quite as deep at the bottom as we had expected, so we negotiated a slightly reduced deco schedule on the way up. When we got to the surface, we saw the boat but couldn't see the other team's bag. Then we realized that they were on the other side of the boat, being picked up. We squabbled about whether to wait to be picked up or to scooter over to the boat. We finally decided to scooter over and then the boat headed toward us, of course. I got back on the boat in a slightly less than graceful manner (have I mentioned that the Cypress Sea swimstep is my arch-nemesis?).

After we got out of our gear, the other shift of divers got geared up for their second dive. Clinton managed to catch his light cord on the gate as he jumped off the boat, which caused a, shall we say, catastrophic light failure. So he got back on the boat and we quickly swapped in a new light (I loaned him mine; in hindsight it might not be the smartest thing to lend a light to someone who just destroyed their light in such a dramatic fashion. But he brought it back in one piece.) By the time their dive was over, it had gotten a bit foggy and overcast again. The ride back was pretty smooth, which wasn't what I was expecting based on the forecast. There were no bumps big enough to remove me from my seat. I was very sleepy and really wanted to nap on the deck, but it was so cold and foggy outside that that did not seem pleasant. I love how the deck gets hot when the sun is out -- perfect napping platform.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cannery Point

After much waffling on what to do for Labor Day, we finally ended up settling on a nice easy dive at Lobos. We were leaning towards the Cannery Point area, but figured we would see what it looked like once we were down there, and maybe go to Granite Point instead. When we got there, things were sloshing around a bit on the surface, so we decided to stick with Cannery Point. I think we made a good decision. There were a bunch of the usual suspects at Lobos, including 2/3 of Team Bunny (August and Steve) and Cynthia, and Matt and Leah. They all decided to go out to the same general area that we were heading too. There were also some others, who were doing supposedly cooler more hard core dives. Chuckle.

The viz was not too stellar when we first dropped in about 40 feet, but we headed out along the sand channel hoping it would improve. As we were scootering along, I saw a thornback ray in the sand. I got Rob's attention and showed it to him, and we stopped for a photo shoot. While we were there, Team Bunny-ish descended upon us, and we showed them the ray. I also found a nice little group of juvenile rockish hanging out in some kelp drifting on the bottom, including some bigger coppers and some unknown species. Once Rob was finished with the ray, we continued out on the sand channel. The viz was pretty crappy up to Hole in the Wall, but once we rounded the corner it cleared up abruptly. By Lone Metridium (where we passed Matt and Leah) it was quite clear and blue. We basically just meandered from rock to rock, sometimes scootering and sometimes swimming, and Rob would occasionally take some pictures. We got to one of the taller ridges that runs parallel to Lone Metridium and I went up to the top to give Rob a silhouette. It was really surgy up there, and very swirly -- the up and down is a little hard on the ears, plus I kept wondering as I got picked up if I was going to be put down or end up getting whisked to the surface. Luckily nothing like that happened.

We eventually encountered a big school of blue rockfish hanging out in the kelp. Rob got some shots of them, and then started gesticulating for me to scooter in this direction. I honestly had no idea if he wanted a shot of me scootering through the fish, or he wanted me to scooter toward them to corral them to a different area. I think he wanted the former but I only successfully achieved the latter. Scooters are quite a useful rockfish herding tool. We also found a bunch of fun little cracks to scooter through, including one that T'd into another crack with a wall right at the intersection. I learned from Rob's near miss with the wall, and had fun turning the corner at a high rate of speed, as they say. Eventually we got to an area that was more sparse in terms of rocks and mini-pinnacles. I started to wonder if Rob was going to just keep going until we hit Marcos Pinnacle :) Right around then, he signaled turn, and we headed back. We ran into Team Bunny-ish again there, and decided to hang around there for a few more minutes before heading in.

On the way in, as we turned the corner at HITW, the viz got really really bad. Then it actually got better again along the sand channel. There was just a really hazy cloud of gunk hanging right by HITW. However, it slowly deteriorated as we approached the shallows, so we decided to thumb it at the worm patch, rather than risk getting separated in the muck. All in all a nice dive. Afterwards we headed to First Awakenings for some breakfast for lunch with Cynthia, Matt, and Leah.

All of the day's pictures are here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mt. Chamberlain, South South Wall

On Saturday, Team Kitty and friends were on the Escapade, and we headed to the South Wall of Mount Chamberlain. Rob had been looking at the bathymetry maps and decided that we should head even south of the south wall, to a ridge running parallel to the wall, about 100 feet south of it on the west half. This ridge was supposed to come up to 170 feet or so, with the bottom going from about 180 feet to really deep depending on how far west you go. We had a nice ride down there, and got dropped in the water by the downline, where we found nice, clear, jelly-laden water.

Right after dropping, I noticed that my gauge was dead :( I knew Kevin had a backup gauge in his pocket, so we continued down to the wall, and after rifling through his pocket, I found it and we were off. The downline dropped us right in the channel south of the wall. We scootered along that briefly, taking in the excellent viz. From the top of the wall (140'-ish), I could very clearly see the bottom in 190'-ish. And the water was bright and blue. Perfect. We eventually headed out over the sand and before long we saw the other structure. Yay. When we got over to it, we pretty quickly found a nice big vase sponge. It was very tall and cylindrical. Unfortunately it was in a divot on the wall that made it difficult to pose next to, so Rob was on his own in the photo department. Not too long after that, we also found a huge Tochuina tetraquetra. It was posed in a nice little flat area between two peakier spots that had a bunch of gorgonians, which seemed like the perfect place to pose. I instantly swam around behind the gorgonians and posed for Rob, hoping he didn't mind an interloper in his frame.

When I think of Mount Chamberlain, I always think of sponges. The picture that comes to mind is elephant ear sponges and that bright orange encrusting sponge that seems everpresent in that area. For some reason on this dive I had my fish goggles on, probably because in the two previous days I had been exchanging emails with Tom Laidig, and perusing his juvey rockfish identification slides. Or maybe it was just a really fishy day. I came upon a few different aggregations of juvenile rockfish, and for once I actually tried to figure out what I was looking at. First I noticed a bunch of the younger, yellow starries. They are so pretty, they practically look like tropical fish (I guess that calling every pretty fish I see a tropical-like fish is kind of insulting to our local fish). I also saw some of the bigger, redder starries, rosies, widows, and blues. I probably saw others but those are the ones that I am actually confident in my ID :) There were also plenty of adult rockfish, including a huge school of blues (with the occasional olive tagging along). I was actually staring at a little school of juvenile starries and widows very intently when I turned around to show something to Rob and realized that was a huge tower of blue rockfish above us, which I was totally missing in my quest for little things. Doh! I also saw three adult starries (which I consider "a lot" since I have seen probably fewer than 10 in all other dives together), and some Chinas and rosies. All in all, a good day for rockfish peeping. There was also a giant baitball of some kind of small fish that were very evasive when it came to having lights shined on them :) The last time we were at Mt. Chamberlain I saw a similarly huge baitball, I really need to figure out what those fish are.

Our plan was to do a deeper segment and a shallower segment, and unfortunately the shallower segment required that we return to the south wall. The scoot back over the sand was cool because of the great viz. We were scootering 30 feet or so above the sand, with a nice view of the "landscape" all around us. We got back to the wall and headed toward the area where all teams had agreed to start the drift. Once we were in the vicinity, we hung out there for the rest of the dive. There we saw the usual South Wall suspects. It wasn't nearly as fishy over there, but there were plenty of sponges, gorgonians, and corynactis to keep us entertained :) We could see Beto and Sue about 30 feet away from us as we started the drift. We met up a couple times on deco as well.

Once we were at 70 feet, for some reason Kevin or Rob flipped over to take a look at the view above us... I assumed they were just checking out the viz, but then they signalled to me to take a look. I flipped over and saw a wall of sea nettles above us. It was actually a little spooky -- I definitely felt like we were outnumbered and under attack. At 60 feet we experienced the onslaught. They were everywhere, literally. It was actually quite stressful to try to simultaneously bat them away from me and keep track of the team. They were really that thick in spots that I had trouble seeing Rob through all of them. But it thinned out from there, and by about 30 feet it was quite reasonable.

On the way home, we encountered dolphins in several spots in Carmel. There were some attempts to snorkel with the dolphins but they were definitely not interested. So we finally gave up and headed home. After a little lunch, we headed to Anywater where I inquired about a backup gauge forthwith (and handed over my crappy Tec2g, which at least now showed an error code, "E 3" instead of being completely blank).

I don't think this post really captures how spectacular this dive was, and how enthusiastic I was about it afterwards. I guess you just had to be there :) The dive was worth every minute (and then some) of the deco. This was definitely the best "T2" dive I have done since the class, and it made all of the pain and suffering worth it. Okay, there wasn't that much pain and suffering but I did have to smell Rob and Kevin in the Florida heat for several days! In addition to being an awesome dive, I really love the picture Rob took of the Tochuina with me and the rockfish in the background. I think it is one of my favorite pictures he has ever taken.

Thanks to Matt for organizing the boat, and of course to the Escapade crew!

All of the pictures are here.